Surprised at the Chinese reaction over his visit to India, US President Barack Obama has said there is no reason for Beijing to be threatened by a good relationship between New Delhi and Washington.
“I was surprised when I heard that the Chinese government had put out these statements. China doesn’t need to be threatened because we have good relations with India,” Obama told Fareed Zakaria’s GPS, a popular CNN Sunday talk show.
In his interview, which was taped in New Delhi on January 27, the last day of his three-day India trip, Obama referred to his November visit to China and said he had some very successful meetings with his Chinese counterpart.
“My belief is that in this moment in history, there’s an opportunity to create a win-win formula in which all countries are abiding by a common set of rules and standards and we’re focused on lifting up prosperity for our people, not at the expense of others, but together with each other.
That’s what my discussions with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi have focused on,” Obama said.
The US President said he has continuously emphasised that it is very much in America’s interest to see a peaceful rise of China.
“What’s dangerous for us is a destabilised and impoverished and disintegrating China. It’s much better for us if China is doing well,” he said.
“But what we’ve said since the start of my term in office is China’s growth shouldn’t be at the expense of other folks. It shouldn’t bully small countries like Vietnam or Philippines around maritime issues, but try to resolve those peacefully in accordance with international law. It shouldn’t manipulate its currencies to get itself trading advantages that others don’t have,” Obama asserted.
“Sometimes we’ve been successful in getting a response from China on those issues. Sometimes less so. I care deeply about China’s success. I want to make sure that we continue to maintain a constructive relationship,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that there are aspects of India that make us closer to India. Specifically, it’s a democracy and it reflects the values and aspirations as well as some of the warts of our own country in a way that China could not. And so that I think there’s an affinity there that I feel personally and I think the American people feel as well,” Obama said.